Insults fly at trial of Britons in Aden

PRISONERS AND guards exchanged curses at the trial in Aden of five Britons and an Algerian accused of planning a bombing campaign. The defendants repeated claims of torture and beatings.

As the session began yesterday James Luovres, 30, an Algerian who was on a forged French passport, held up a bruised right arm and insulted the guards.

Two other prisoners joined in and the guards shouted insults. Badr Basunaid accused prison officials of denying him access to his clients.

The men are accused of being in touch with the gang that last year kidnapped 16 tourists, and with Abu Hamza al-Masri, a militant Islamic cleric in London. The defendants deny all charges. The trial resumes on Saturday.

In London, Michael McColgan, a human rights lawyer, who interviewed three of the accused last week, said: "All three said that they had been tortured. Malek Nasser Harhara said he had been beaten, blindfolded and trussed up ... He was ... beaten unconscious on one occasion."

Mohammed Mustapha Kamel, 18, a son of Mr Masri,and two other Britons captured in Yemen last week are to be tried later. Security sources said they were still being interrogated.